As it has been aforementioned, power distance is the difference that exists between groups in a society that happen to be thriving in an unequal arrangement. In situations where the power distance is high, some individuals who are considered to be superior to several others based on their social status, race, gender, age, personal achievements, and the level of education, birth place, and family background. In cultures with low power distance, individuals are perceived to be equal, and statuses are earned instead of being ascribed as is the case in cultures where high power distance thrives. Generally, having a high unequally distributed wealth translates into a high power distance even on the national setting (Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2008; McCulloch et al., 2007; Sommerville & Dalziel, 1998).
According to Hofstede, the nations that have high power distances include those in the Arab countries, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Kenya. In these countries, the social, economic, and religious background of an individual determines which business or political position he/she holds. Statuses are largely predefined, and it is challenging to alter the cultural settings. It is this situation that translates into unequally distributed wealth amongst individuals, and it proves to be challenging for an individual who happens not to be affiliated with the privileged group to climb the ladder of success (Sommerville & Dalziel, 1998).
Contrary to the situation in the aforementioned nations, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Austria record low power distance amongst categories of individuals. In these countries, it is relatively easy for an individual to raise both politically and in terms of business. There are no rigid structures that determine the path taken by individuals as they engage in their business or political carriers. The situation in these nationals appeals to individuals both from within as well as abroad, and it is for this reason that most foreign nationals seek to settle and establish themselves in such societies as opposed to such others as Brazil, Indonesia, India, Kenya, and Egypt (Wright & Knapp, 2001).
Individualism refers to the degree to which groups of individuals integrate with each other. In the individualistic societies, more stress is exerted on towards personal achievements as well as individual rights. Individuals are expected to cater for themselves as well as their close relatives. Individuals are free to choose whatever affiliations that they wish to belong to, and this is unlike in the collectivist societies. Among the individualistic societies include the United States, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, and Britain. In most of these countries, the goals of individuals are highly valued than those of the groups. Individuals get rewarded for their individual behavior, a situation that encourages them to continue individualizing plans and endeavoring towards the achievement of personalized goals. Whenever they get hired, individuals earn their promotions on the basis of their personal qualifications and achievements (Wright & Knapp, 2001; William, 1993; Minkov, 2007).
In societies like Egypt, Indonesia, India, Nigeria, and Brazil, the objectives of a group are regarded to be of more importance than those that belong to individual group members. In such societies, ties relating kinship are regarded to be stronger as compared to those in the individualized societies. Matters relating to expertise are never evaluated during appointments or even promotions. In fact, collectivism is perceived to be a value in most of the aforementioned cultures. Marriages are regarded to be opportunities for forming alliances and, in fact, an individual marries those that their families have selected for them. These collectivisms are then mirrored at the workplace as well as in political establishments and, as such, it is common to find a situation where business or political trustees happen to be close relatives. Nevertheless, the most important thing is that conflicts and misunderstandings are minimized (Seipel, 2005; McAdams, 1999).
Most western societies have not been overemphasizing on masculinity when it comes to work related assertiveness and goals. To a greater extent, men and women are relatively balanced in terms of their earnings, work related promotions and advancements, as well as the respect and job titles that they earn. These societies are said to be personalized and such that focuse more on humanistic goals. In most instances, they are considered to present friendly and comfortable working climate where cooperation and nurturance are relatively easy to achieve. These societies include the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Austria (Maier, 2007; Lang, 2004; Hofstede, 2001).
In such societies as Jordan, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Egypt, and Kenya, much more emphasis is laid on masculinity as opposed to femininity. Men and women do not have equal opportunities for growth and, as such, their contribution to the societies that they belong to is significantly varied. Women are denied an opportunity to make their contribution in the society as men do. Many of the women roles are focused on the home environment and everything else is centered on the view that they have to have enough time to be in their homes. In this regard, they are ruled out of some of the occupations that deny them enough time to be with their families (Hofstede, 2001).
Societies with highly rated uncertainty avoidance score low in terms of tolerance to ambiguity and uncertainty. As such, these societies become highly rule-orientated; a situation which forces individuals to follow well-established and defined rules and regulations. These rules are basically mean to contain or mitigate dissent as well as facilitate the maintenance of the status quo. It becomes difficult for a significant section of the society to enjoy some of the rights that are enjoyed by the privileged. The societies include Iran, Brazil, Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia (Hofstede, 1984; Hofstede, 2005).
Societies such as South Korea, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland score lowly in terms of uncertainty avoidance. These societies are, actually, not concerned with uncertainty or ambiguity and, as such, they have a high tolerance towards varied experimentations. They are also not rule-orientated, and the leadership readily accepts variations as everyone indicates willingness to take risks (Lang, 2004; Hofstede, 2001).
Societies that have high temporal orientation do not endeavor to reinforce traditional and long-term orientations. These societies accept changes more readily than those with low temporal orientation. In this regard, long-term commitments and traditions do not impede a change in any way. While Israel, the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom happen to be largely temporal oriented, the situation is opposite in such societies as Mexico, Argentina, El Salvador, India, and Bangladesh. In these countries, cultures and traditions play a significant role and this is one of the reasons why a change is not tolerated. Much of the laws are enacted so as to facilitate the maintenance of the status quo especially being a section of the society that happens to be holding privileged positions (Hofstede, 2005; Griswold, 2008; Ailon, 2008).
The assignment is meant to evaluate the similarities in various national cultures and how these similarities can be exploited in an endeavor to facilitate fruitful relationships in business. There have been instances where misconceptions have lead into failure, and some of these failures could possibly have been avoided by having an enhanced cultural understanding. The comparison of various countries have availed information that may be utilized by enterprises that seek to extend their operations whether regionally or globally. Managing growth and development necessitates mutual understanding between various categories of stakeholders, and this understanding can only be possible if these stakeholders appreciate the importance of the diversity between them.